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City readies for Dec. 8 grand opening of $15M community center

Staff Report • Nov 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Memorial Park Community Center, Johnson City’s new $15 million recreation cathedral, is ready to serve.

In its embryonic stage, the idea of a 67,000-square-foot multi-generational facility was met with doubt and debate dating back to a period well ahead of the city’s final decision to demolish the historical but creaky Memorial Stadium.

There were workshops, financial squabbles, disagreements on design and purpose, and, of course, protests on the steps of City Hall by senior citizens who thought they had been cheated out of a standalone structure.

But when ground was broken in October 2010, community members began eyeing the burgeoning behemoth and anticipation replaced angst. The majority of seniors who had in the past called out city commissioners, and the leaders of Save Our Center in particular, changed their tunes. Youngsters, ballroom dancers, billiards players, yoga lovers, swimmers and basketball fanatics began to show overt signs that they believed the result would likely bring a payoff and not a hindrance.

Find out more about this major city project in Press Staff Writer Gary B. Gray's story in the Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, edition of the Johnson City Press.

Gray examines the history of the project, provides the prices for admission to the facility, the hours of operation, how senior citizens will be accommodated and what all there will be to do at the new center.

Gray's story starts on the front page.

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